Old High midday concert 11 June: Young Highland Musicians

11 June OH concert

The next recital at the Old High is on Saturday 11th June at 12 noon.

It will repeat the format of the concert last June when we invited some advanced Highland School musicians, including some senior pupils who are now moving on to the Conservatoire, to perform for us. This year they are offering a mixture of brass, violin and viola music.

Please come along to support these young musicians.

Click here for the full programme.

Sign up for our music email list at ohssmusic<at>gmail.com.

Click here or the complete 2016 Old High concerts leaflet .

2016 Old High Music Recital Programme

The 2016 Music Recital Programme is available to download here.

2016 Old High Music Recital Programme

We are happy to send advance details about each performance to everyone on our emailing list. If you would like to receive details of our music events, please e-mail ohssmusic@gmail.com. This will not be used for any other purpose other than informing you about music in our congregation and will not be passed on to any third party.

Minister’s welcome at the launch of the Friends of the Old High Church, Inverness

To find out how you can help the Old High Church of Inverness, please call 01463 250 802, or email invernesschurch@gmail.com .

Welcoming remarks at the opening of the Launch of the Friends of the Old High Church, Inverness
12 January 2016

Rev Peter Nimmo A

Rev Peter W Nimmo, minister of Old High St Stephen’s

Deputy Provost, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the congregation of Old High St Stephen’s, I would like to warmly welcome you to our historic city centre building, the Old High Church of Inverness, for the launch of this new Friends Group. Continue reading

Launch of Friends of the Old High Church

The Kirk Session of Old High St Stephen’s have recently set up the new Friends of the Old High Church, which will launch on Tuesday 12 January 2016 at 7.30pm within the Old High Church.

Everyone is welcome to attend

We are delighted with this initiative, and look forward to working very closely with the Friends to develop this building, which is so important to the civic, artistic, spiritual and historical life of our city.

You can read the minister’s comments at the launch here.

Here is the press release which went out about the event.

Lovers of the Highland Capital’s historic heritage are invited to gather at the Old High Church, Inverness, on Tuesday evening, to promote its welfare and conservation for present and future generations.


Enthusiasts have already formed a new organisation to raise funds for the ancient building’s improvement, and to advertise it as a local cultural and tourist destination.

The Grade-A listed church stands on the site where St Columba is said to have converted the Pictish King Brude to Christianity in 565.


The new group, Friends of the Old High Church, is to hold an open meeting to launch itself formally and to welcome those wishing to join, with a talk from the Old High’s historian and author of the informative booklet Tales of the Old High, Ross Martin, musical entertainment including a recital on the church’s magnificent Willis Organ, choral items, a virtuoso demonstration by the Handbell Ringers and refreshments.


Friends of the Old High Church is a separate entity from the congregation, and is inviting membership from members of other churches, religions or heritage enthusiasts with no religious affiliation, besides those who worship within its own walls. The site has hosted a place of worship since the Sixth Century.


The group has received the endorsement of minister the Rev Peter Nimmo and his Kirk Session.


Church elder Christina Cameron, who has led the bid to found the group, and who has been elected its first chairperson, said that the oldest church in Inverness was a vital part of the City’s heritage, but like all historic buildings was very costly to maintain.


“It’s a wonderful building which was for centuries the only place of worship in the town, and a focal point of the community,” she added, “but It’s now like an old lady that needs some tender loving care.


“Our group’s mission is to ensure that the building will be secured for future generations and continue to contribute actively to the spiritual, cultural and social life of the city. This is why we invite all who love the long and varied history of Inverness to join.”


Despite an already busy civic workload, the City’s depute provost, Councillor Jean Slater, has volunteered for the time-consuming task of Friends’ secretary.


The group has set up its own website, separate from, but loosely linked to, the official website of Old High St Stephen’s congregation, which worships in the Old High and in its sister church on Southside Road.


While the congregation is responsible for financing the general maintenance of the church, Friends’ members believe there is much a strong, secular supporters’ group might achieve to enhance it.


One of its early priorities is to keep it open for several hours each day between Easter and autumn, to give the City’s many visitors the opportunity to visit it.


In recent years there have been many visitors from all over the world, but regular opening has sometimes been curtailed by lack of volunteers to welcome and supervise them, despite appeals to congregation members.


Ms Cameron and her colleagues are anxious to ensure that tourists from cruise ships visiting Invergordon, as well as those staying locally, should be aware of the church’s significance, and enjoy easy access to it, particularly in view of proposals to turn nearby Inverness Castle into a tourist attraction.


Rev Nimmo said: “If people would like to be involved in activities like being guides in the church, or in stewarding events organised by the Friends, they’ll be very welcome.”

Among more mundane projects the group might hope in time to fund is much-needed improvement of the building’s toilet facilities – there is at present only one toilet, in the vestry.


Tuesday’s meeting begins at 7.30pm.


Historical note: St Michael’s Mount, the little prominence overlooking the River Ness on which the old High Church stands, may arguably be described as the cradle of Christianity in the Northern Highlands. Here, according to local tradition, the pioneering Irish missionary St Columba first preached in 565, and converted the Pictish King Brude to Christianity. There has been a church on the site since shortly after that date. Much of present building dates largely to 1772, although the tower is between four and six centuries old.

Old High Music 2015 – The Merlewood Ensemble

OLD HIGH MUSIC Saturday 28th November, 12 noon. Merlewood Ensemble. For the final recital of the 2015 series we welcome back these local musicians. They provided a beautiful ending to our music last year and we are grateful that they are willing to do so again this year. Their programme includes pieces by Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn and others. Andrew Stevenson ohssmusicgmail.com

Download the Programme here

We have now set up a music e-mailing list and if you would like to be included and get advance notification of our recital programmes and other music event details, please send an e-mail to ohssmusicgmail.com. This will not be used for any other purpose than informing you about music at Old High St Stephens and will not be shared with any third party. We would like to encourage you to forward information on to any interested family and friends. All being well, we hope to hold the inaugural recital in 2016 on Saturday 20th February at 12 noon but this is still to be confirmed. We will circulate details in due course to everyone on our email list.

To whom shall we go? A sermon for the Anniversary of the Battle of Loos

On 27 September 2015, the Colours of  the 4th/5th Battalion, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, were laid up in the Old High Church. The Camerons were the local regiment, and the Old High was their Regimental Church, and now houses the Camerons Memorial Area. The service took place at the time of the anniversary of the Battle of Loos (1915) in which many Camerons were killed and injured. The Loos commemoration was previewed in the Inverness Courier

Scripture Readings: Ephesians 6.10-18 (King James Version)
John 6:60-69 (Good News Bible)

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today our congregation is delighted to once again play host to the members of the Cameron Highlanders Association. I know that you will enjoy the comradeship of your reunion weekend. Yet a service like this has a more sombre tone, especially when, as we do today, we recall an event which led to such loss of life for the regiment- and, of course, for many others. Some of you here served in the regiment, and heard about the Battle of Loos alongside other stories from your regimental history. Others of you are descended from family members who were at the battle- for you, this is family history. And then some of you will be here because of your connections with the battalions whose colours we receive into safekeeping here at the Old High today. Continue reading

Organ Recital 3 October 2015

Old High Music

Organ Recital on Saturday 3rd October at 12 noon by David Mackay.   From previous recitals we know that this will be a splendid event.

David Mackay developed his early playing skills at Ness Bank Church before studying at the Royal Scottish Academy in Glasgow.   He has many years experience as an organist in and around Ayr, including regular performances at the Kelvingrove Art Galleries.

His one-hour programme includes work by J.S. Bach, Chapell, Jongen, Boellmann and Vierne.

We are counting on a good audience to welcome David back to his old home town!

Click here for the Organ Recital Programme

Justice or charity?- a sermon for the Kirking of the Council, 13 September 2015

Scripture Readings: Amos 7.7-17
Luke 10.25-37

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

In 2012, there was massive media coverage when the Costa Concordia, a luxury cruise ship, ran aground off Italy, leading to the tragic deaths of 32 passengers and crew. But almost unnoticed, the Italian coastguard were also busy elsewhere:

That same day, the first of three boats carrying African refugees across the Mediterranean from Libya towards Malta and Italy was rescued by coastguards, in an incident which attracted no news coverage whatsoever. 72 were saved, including a pregnant woman and 29 children. The second boat was rescued two days later by a Maltese armed patrol vessel, assisted by the US Navy. The 68 who were saved included a mother who had just given birth… The third boat didn’t make it. A distress call warning of engine failure was intercepted by the Maltese maritime authorities the morning after the Concordia disaster. Then no more was heard….until the last week of January, when the first 15 bodies were washed up on Libyan beaches –at least 55 were lost.

I’m quoting there from a leaflet produced by the Church of Scotland Guild on the situation in Malta. Continue reading